By Rogers Aghan, February, 15, 2023, Caritas Isiolo and the Isiolo county government have partnered with the Catholic Relief Services in rolling out livestock feed distribution to herders in five wards affected by drought.
A 100 tonnes consignment of range cubes was flagged off for distribution to more than 800 households in Sericho, Cherab, Chari, Garbatulla and Oldonyiro areas, which are deemed by the National Drought Management Authority to be the most affected within the county.
CRS country Director Rebecca Hallam reiterated that the six-month drought emergency response project was geared toward enabling vulnerable families and herders to attain resilience against climatic conditions like drought.
“The livestock feeds are meant to cushion pastoralists against further losses by salvaging the remaining emaciated animals in the most affected areas,” the official stated in a speech read by Ms Mary Ndurungi, who was accompanied by Isiolo Deputy Governor James Lowasa.
The organization donated fast moving spare parts for revival of four boreholes in Merti and the Garbatulla. It also gave out a truck with for water trucking services in parts of Sericho, Merti and Garbatulla.
Some of the areas experiencing adverse water shortage include Tuale, Modogashe, Lagaaman, Cherab, Chari and Longopito.
The price of hay has continued to increase even amid these struggles thus exposing livestock farmers to immense suffering as many are faced with hunger.
While highly nutritious feed provides animals with proteins and energy to maintain body conditions and required weight, it is difficult for these pastoralists to keep up with the demand for animal feed.
“Pastoralists struggle to dispose of emaciated animals as they fetch lower prices at local markets.” Said Mr. Lowasa.
Nearly half of the country’s population is in dire need of food aid.
These residents have been urged to embrace the culture of keeping fewer manageable animals to avoid losses to calamities.
Pasture depletion and water scarcity has forced local pastoralists to ferry the weak animals as far as the Tana River where there is pasture to prevent them from dying.
In most of the Arid and Semi-Arid counties, residents walk nearly 15 kilometers to access water.
Abdi Ibrahim Guyo, Isiolo Governor has declared the drought a county disaster and calls for concerted and intensified efforts to mitigate the effects of the drought which is Kenya’s worst in several decades.